The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will this year use the same 163km course as in 2018, which benefitted from the addition of a fourth climb of Challambra Crescent, cutting down the peloton so that only a 24-man group came to the finish line in Geelong, Victoria, to fight it out for victory.
The men's race has seen a different nationality win every year since its inception in 2015, and in 2018 saw its first Australian winner in Bora-Hansgrohe's Jay McCarthy. It was an extremely promising start to the season for the now 26-year-old rider, who had been disappointed not to have won a stage at last year's Tour Down Under the week after having taken silver at the national road race championships.
McCarthy went on to win a stage at April's Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, but that was as good as it got for him in 2018, so he'll be wanting to make Australia's 'summer of cycling' count again in 2019, and hope that it provides a springboard for the rest of his season.
Starting and finishing on the waterfront in Geelong, the race takes in the Great Ocean Road and Australia's 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans' hometown of Barwon Heads, and has proven itself to be a very open race in years past. The men's event forms part of an eclectic four days of events, too, running from January 24-27, starting with an elite women's and men's criterium held on Melbourne's Formula 1 street circuit, with the Deakin Elite Women's Race on the Saturday and the men's WorldTour race on Sunday.